Let me above all welcome you to 2021 and wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!
We are about to launch our new semester, Spring 2021 and we expect some 68 students to arrive in a week's time. This is a great achievement in times of COVID, where most programs abroad are canceled for the second time in a row.
We can do nothing more than thank everyone—students, faculty, and staff from both sides of the ocean—for their commitment and support to our program. We know it will be a challenge, but we are ready to face the unexpected: just hoping that this larger group of students is as accommodating as their predecessors, who did a wonderful job in respecting rules, showing the necessary flexibility to make the semester an unforgettable one for all of us.
With this new semester, it is my pleasure to welcome to MUDEC a new Staff member in the person of Daniel Riecker, our new Student Activities Coordinator. Daniel is a very strong candidate and was chosen by the Selection Committee from among a considerable number of candidates. I look forward to working with Daniel very soon.
One of the past Coordinators’ task has been to issue the MUDEC newsletters – so nicely called "Monday Morning." Over the last semester we have intensified our already great collaboration with GLI, Global Initiatives in Oxford, and with Karen O’Hara we found a great editor of our beloved newsletter.
At the end of last semester during a presentation made by a student, he mentioned he could not understand why our readers of the newsletter, Instagram, Facebook or other are so keen on getting pictures of the Château. More or less parallel to this, I had a video-conference with members of the MUDEC Alumni Board, and suddenly I had a vision to give the newsletter a more oriented perspective: it should be made by the current students for potential students, alumni, and friends and edited in Oxford by Karen. Isn’t this a Global Perspective?
We have recruited three students to do independent studies around collecting material, sharing pictures, writing essays, telling what was going on at MUDEC and what is likely to happen the following week, how Luxembourg is doing … We expect to also have the help of a Digital Innovation student who specializes in video.
We can thus share with all of you the life at MUDEC: menus prepared by our chef, recipes, travel essays. We can share events: receiving Ministers, Ambassadors or other important people; showing SFC events; and documenting European Experience activities, field trips and Study Tours.
Every week, the team will interview peers and get firsthand information from them to share. This is one of my priorities this semester.
But there is more than this happening at MUDEC right now. Since January 2021 we are renting student apartments in a house in Differdange, and for the first time ever, we will have 15 students living independently in studios. With the vision to increase the numbers at MUDEC rapidly, it was instrumental to ensure the number of beds available, and since the host family pool has decreased in the last few years for many evident reasons, we decided to also explore different perspectives which resulted in this opportunity.
For all of us, COVID is dramatic, ruins our lives and prevents us from doing things we love to do. But it also allows us to reconsider aspects of our life. By preventing our students from traveling as much as they used to do, it will allow us to show them more what is going on around them: to involve them in the social and cultural life in Differdange and Luxembourg and fully use the great financial support we get to organize small tours within the greater region, visiting places students would not visit on their own. Paris, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam are great … but what are they against Troisvierges, Koerich or Rambrouch…?
We look forward to a great semester—COVID-free hopefully, but with a great bunch of kids, I am sure.
Interim Executive Director